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Al Nassr is set to be without captain Cristiano Ronaldo for the upcoming game against Al-Feiha. The reason was his send-off against Al Hilal in the Saudi Super Cup. But in a recent development, it seems that the Knights of Najd could be without coach Luis Castro for a few games. As per the news, the Portuguese tactician had surgery recently and has been asked to abstain from physical activity for a while.

The news posted by the official Al Nassr Twitter account confirmed that Luis Castro has had a ‘minor medical procedure.’ The exact procedure has not been specified and Castro’s return date is up in the air as well. However, it has been confirmed that in his absence, assistant coach Vitor Severino will be in charge of Al Nassr. Moreover, reports on X have confirmed that Castro is not overseeing the training sessions and is on the way to recovery.

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Castro’s absence is undeniably unfortunate, but it comes possibly at the worst juncture for Al Nassr. The team trails Al Hilal in the league by 12 points and they have to avoid any slip-ups for a chance at the title. This was already a difficult act due to the unavailabilities of Anderson Talisca and Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Moreover, in a few days, Al Nassr has a King Cup semi-final against Al-Khaleej. Realistically, this is their best chance to lift a trophy this season. Unfortunately, it is not yet known if Castro can mastermind the team. However, the good news is that Cristiano Ronaldo will be back for the game. Speaking of CR7, he had the rub of the green lately as his ban was reduced to a solitary game!

Al Nassr to have Cristiano Ronaldo back earlier than expected per reports

Per reports, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation has decided to reduce Cristiano Ronaldo’s ban. This means that CR7 will miss only the game against Al Feiha. The 39-year-old had elbowed an Al-Hilal defender in the Super Cup clash. Moreover, he was also involved in a spat with the referee. Despite this, the verdict is that Ronaldo did not show any violent behavior. The reports state, “The suspension of Cristiano Ronaldo will be for one match only, and what happened between him and Ali Al-Bulaihi in the match between Al-Nasr and Al-Hilal was evaluated as a contact that was not violent behavior.”

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The reduced ban means Cristiano Ronaldo will be available for the league game against Al-Khaleej on April 27th. Notably, Al Khaleej is also Al Nassr’s opponent in the King Cup. Hence, it will be interesting to see whether the management rests CR7 or starts him for the league game. Regardless, one thing is clear. This game could make or break Al Nassr’s season.

Written by

Adithya Narayanan

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Adithya is a Soccer Writer at EssentiallySports. A Liverpool fanboy, he takes pride in being alive to witness Jurgen Klopp taking the Reds to domestic and European glory. Adithya loves an in-depth soccer chat involving tactical intricacies and stats.
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Edited by

Jayant Chhabra